Problems importing Chinese text from Mac

I’m hoping to use Scrivener to work on a bilingual English/Chinese writing project, only we keep running into compatibility issues. I am primarily writing in English on a Mac and my co-author will primarily be writing in Chinese on a PC. We have only recently started adding Chinese text and found today that when I sent her a Scrivener file, all the Chinese (except one character) disappeared and was replaced with gibberish when she opened it. Is there any way to work around this?

If it makes a difference, the history:

-She sent me a Word file created on her PC with Chinese and English text (.docx)
-I opened it in TextEdit and copied and pasted the contents into Scrivener (v2.1) on my Mac
-I sent the Scrivener file back to her with changes to the English but none to the Chinese
-She opened Scrivener file with latest beta release version on her PC

It’s to do with coding. There have been problems with importing Chinese docs straight into the Windows version as a result. It might be worth your looking at this post in a previous thread:

I must admit that for various reasons I haven’t been able to follow up with my Windows using Chinese friends, from the time of that set of exchanges, so I guess the problem is still an encoding one.

As a work-around, I suspect your best bet would be to compile the text as an RTF for her to open in Word or an OpenOffice clone and save it out as .doc and then import that. Don’t save it as .doc from Scrivener, as that is just RTF with a changed creator code but doesn’t work as fully as compiling to .rtf, it seems. Or if you convert it to .doc yourself, make sure you follow what Kelly says.


Hmm–I guess I can try sending her various versions and see what, if any she can open in other programs if that helps us track down the problem. But the file I sent her is a .scrivx file, not a .doc file. So how can I fix the encoding within Scrivener itself? If I fix before I import it into my version, will this take care of it? Anyone know?

As far as I can tell, Scrivener on the Mac uses straightforward UTF-8; it presume it is the Windows version that is reading it as GB-18030 or one of the other codings floating around in the Windows world. Your partner might look at what text encoding her version of Word uses; alternatively Ian, MM or Ioa might like to come back on this one.


Just to make this a little more specific, in case someone is looking into it (please, pretty please?):

I noticed when sending a file with Chinese in it that although the latest Windows beta version of Scrivener still doesn’t recognize the coding from the Mac version in the main text, the same Chinese text shows up correctly in the title given to the section in the Binder panel. It also shows up correctly in the synopsis. I don’t know whether this is a recent change or whether we just now noticed it. But the encoding is working correctly somewhere, just not where I actually need it to work …

If it helps, binder titles and synopses are plain-text, the main text you are importing is rich text, so it’s presumably something in the header of the rich text that is causing the problem. Each individual document within the project is saved as a .rtf, so they must all include whatever line of code is causing the problem. Lee, Ioa et al. are going to have to look into that — I’m merely a happy user and no programmer.


Quate, is there any chance you could zip up the project or a sample project that produces this issue and send it to support AT literatureandlatte DOT com so Lee can test with it directly? If I understand correctly, a sample Mac project that contains the Chinese which will appear corrupted when opened in Windows should be sufficient–then Lee can test opening that in Windows and see what’s going on.

Sure, will do.